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OCO-2 News Articles

  • As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises August 8, 2016
    As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
    Kristyn Housman grabbed the end of a sampling auger, a steel tube that two colleagues had just drilled into a moss-covered hummock in a peat bog, and poked through a damp, fibrous plug of partly decomposed peat.As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises
  • NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US July 6, 2016
    NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
    This month, NASA begins an airborne experiment to improve scientists’ understanding of the sources of two powerful greenhouse gases and how they cycle into and out of the atmosphere.NASA Flights to Track Greenhouse Gases Across Eastern US
  • Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone June 13, 2016
    Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
    Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study.Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone
  • United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought April 25, 2016
    United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
    The warm spring of 2012 in the U.S. caused plants to absorb more carbon, thereby compensating for reductions during the subsequent summer drought, researchers have demonstrated.United States absorbed carbon dioxide despite a drought
  • Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected March 16, 2016
    Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
    The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected
  • Consumers care about carbon footprint February 26, 2016
    Consumers care about carbon footprint
    How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy? Would they care more if the goods were labeled with emissions data?Consumers care about carbon footprint
  • How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxide February 25, 2016
    How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxide
    The seas around the UK and the rest of northern Europe take up a staggering 24 million tonnes of carbon each year.How Northern European waters soak up carbon dioxide
  • New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sink February 24, 2016
    New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sink
    Since pre-industrial times, the world's oceans have absorbed 41 percent of the carbon dioxide humans have released into the atmosphere. The remainder stays airborne, warming the planet.New climate model better predicts changes to ocean-carbon sink
  • Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected February 22, 2016
    Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected
    Results from a new climate reconstruction of how Antarctica's ice sheets responded during the last period when atmospheric carbon dioxide reached levels like those expected to occur in about 30 years, plus sediment core findings reported in a companion paper, suggest that the ice sheets are more vulnerable to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought.Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected
  • A carbon sink that can't be filled January 7, 2016
    A carbon sink that can't be filled
    Forests can store as much as 45 percent of the world's terrestrial carbon, making them a critical part of the process of regulating climate change.A carbon sink that can't be filled

Watching the planet breathe
Watching the planet breathe

When plants photosynthesize, they use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide from the air into sugars used to live and grow. In doing so, they give off a fluorescent light — a glow that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that can be seen with the right instruments. More photosynthesis translates into more fluorescence, meaning that the plants are very productive in taking up carbon dioxide. The amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants is called “gross primary productivity,” and is the largest part of the global carbon cycle.